Black consumers make a vital impact to the American economy and their dollars matter. With a spending power of 1.3 trillion dollars as reported by Nielsen, it is time for African American consumers to know their worth.
For some reason, companies, large and small, miss their mark with African American consumers. The microaggressions and underlying racism are showcased more and more through their advertisements. We need to take what we have learned from campaigns such as Gucci’s sweater that resembles Blackface or Pepsi’s tone-deaf commercial with Kendall Jenner.
It does not stop there. Recently a woman by the name of Sarah Marantz Lindenberg started selling silk nightcaps for $98. Lindenberg then dared to imply that she created the idea in an interview with Fashion Magazine.
Imagine that, a white woman taking credit for the invention of a product that has been a staple in the Black community for generations. This leads us to our issue at hand, where the disconnect between businesses and black consumers lie.
Whether it is a small company or a large corporation, black consumers need to be included. We weren’t there to see how many African Americans were present in the Pepsi meeting when they decided that sharing the drink with police officers would bring peace, especially when the “Black Lives Matter” movement was at the forefront.
We should not only include black people but have them as decision-makers when it comes to marketing and advertising. No one knows our community like the people on the inside. How would anyone else know that blackface is extremely offensive or why the historical context of a young boy wearing a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweater is important?
We are influencers in every market and these companies need to realize that importance. We have set trends that are being recycled and we buy what reflects our culture.
While it might be nice for us to invest in companies, it is time for them to invest in us. We need them to go beyond celebrating us for only one month. We as a community need to start demanding authenticity from companies or spend our money elsewhere.
The winning ticket is you being genuine and having a passion for the community you are targeting. The consumers will tend to be more loyal to your brand. We are also one of the top brand-loyal consumers according to a 2018 report by consumers.com.
We’ve done our part as consumers, now companies need to get it together and start implementing these standards to be most effective in our community.